Protesting against the death of a street vendor during a Mumbai police crackdown recently, the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) has decided to launch an “anti-police terror campaign” on Sunday in different parts of the country. The week-long campaign will start in the Capital with street vendors forming a human chain at Jantar Mantar.
NASVI affiliate group Azad Hawkers Union would organise a hawkers rally at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on January 24.
A street vendor named Madan Jaiswal died during an anti-hawking drive in Mumbai after which the Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble was transferred pending a CID inquiry.
“We also strongly object to the irresponsible and regional chauvinist utterances of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Raj Thackeray in favour of the Mumbai ACP. Our protest is also against the ugly politics of convenience under which two tragedies get played out differently. When a policeman Subhash Tomar dies in Delhi during people’s protest, the establishment gets restless, but when a street vendor dies in Mumbai during police action, the State agencies sleep comfortably,” says the NASVI statement.
During the campaign, street vendors in several cities and towns would organise protest demonstrations and rallies demanding institution of charges against the Mumbai ACP, his sacking and immediate compensation of Rs. 25 lakh from the Maharashtra Government to the family of the dead street vendor.
NASVI has also planned to send protest and demand letters to the Union Home Minister, Union Home Secretary, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Maharashtra Chief Minister, Maharashtra Home Minister, Maharashtra Director General of Police, Mumbai Police Chief as well as the National Human Rights Commission.